Today my buddy Kristaki married his sweetheart Ramune. Inserted is my self-inflicted mugshot taken before the big shindig commenced.
In a not so random turn of events, I knew both the bride and groom, I work with both of them. The groom and I were in the same academy class together. We hit it off as buds pretty much right away. Ramune started about 3 years later. They’ve been living together as a couple for some time now but today was finally the big day.
I normally avoid formal events as I hate the fussiness behind all of it. We’ve become a society focused more on the appearance of tradition vs the actual meaning behind it.1 I couldn’t not attend their wedding. While I know Kristaki more, Ramune was indoctrinated into the local chapter as a Steward and I’m hoping to mold her in my professional image.2 Seriously, I think she is a sweet soul with a mischievous side that doesn’t come to light until you really get to know her. I’ve always thought they were a good ‘fit’ for each other and I was reminded of that today. Looking beyond the nervous apprehension, I saw a couple secure in each other with a bright future together. I wish them all the best.
You can stop here unless you wish to read my reminiscent ramblings, which as you know can be significant at times. :p
Besides the obvious disappointment of still being considering a 2nd class citizen in this country, the days festivities gave me pause to reminisce about my past. For my part, Kristaki was one of the first straight guys I formed a significant friendship with. Oh, I’ve had plenty of straight buds over the years but I consider Kristaki a close friend. I’d give him a kidney if he needed it and I’m sure he’d do the same for me. Until him, I’d never really had close ties to any of my straight friends. My upbringing and the struggles I went thru convinced me for the longest time I needed to stay within the confines of my own community. An idea I’ve long since shed but it was a bumpy road getting here.
Growing up gay in the back woods of East Texas, after my family migrated from Louisiana, wasn’t easy. Besides the already extremely rough coming out, it wasn’t something you broadcasted unless you wanted ridicule. I remember vividly the names and taunts directed at the town “drag queen”.3 After moving away from home and coming out full-force, I surrounded myself with mostly gay friends. While that was to be expected when one is searching for a sense of belonging and community, it didn’t have to be all inclusive. My only straight friends at the time were usually made thru work connections.
A good portion of my 20’s was spent focusing on my survival. That didn’t leave much time for me to learn the art of being introspective. Frankly, its hard to focus on the ‘higher-being’ aspect of the id when you are worried about where your next meal might come from. Moving to SF was a big gamble for me financially but it paid off, so far. (Keep your fingers crossed.)
Until I’d met Kristaki, I’d never met a straight guy who was truly comfortable being around gays. And by truly comfortable, I mean we could discuss my life as equally and openly as his. Beyond the good-natured taunts and jibes, there was no animosity or disgust on his part. He genuinely liked me for me, including the ‘different’ parts. He grew up in the Bay area so I guess it shouldn’t have been a surprise my being gay wasn’t a big deal to him. But to me it was a big step and no matter where I travel in my life, I’ll always remember it.
Besides the obvious benefits of having a good friend, it also bolstered me in ways I’d never anticipated. I became more accepting of myself. In my early 20’s I built a sort of shell around myself that served as a defense mechanism. I think I’ve mentioned it before but my only exposure as a child to being gay was the stereotypes. I subconsciously assumed to be gay meant I had to be that way so I turned myself into the typical stereotype. I became the nelly limp-wristed fembot that could burst into flames w/o provocation or notice.4 This made it easy to avoid those unpleasant conversations or hurt feelings at losing someone you cared about over ignorance. If there was no doubt I was gay then I’d never have to worry about losing someone over the discovery.
It was a few years prior to my moving to SF that I realized I didn’t need to be the stereotype. I slowly began the arduous process of dismantling a shell personality that had become so much apart of me as to be indistinguishable from the real me underneath. I was still in the process of dismantling that shell when I moved to SF.5 Befriending Kristaki, while I didn’t realize it at the time, gave me an additional boost of confidence in the new-found belief I could just be myself, I didn’t need to act at anything, gay or straight. I could just be me.
I’m laughing a bit as I write this because I had previously decided I’ve beat my past and id so much on this blog there is nothing left to tell. Well, I am discovering that factors beyond my conscious acknowledgement have helped shape me into the person I am and continues to do so. I’ve even been mulling over the idea of ending my blog recently. Many of my favorite reads have gone by the wayside and I’ve been feeling less and less inclined to blog myself. I still read a lot of blogs but I find more and more of them have to do with news and current events than personal stuff.
My blog has always been about socializing and my personal growth. Two very important aspects of my journey in life. The online social aspect is more often astutely covered thru other mediums these days. Ergo, I’m finding the social aspect of my blog becoming less and less. That leaves my personal growth. Frankly, I was so fucked up in the head as a young adult I honestly never thought I’d sort thru it all. And yeah, I still wrestle with my demons, but unlike in years past they no longer seem to cripple me as much or as often. I’ve gone from someone so insecure inside I’d get nervous crossing the street in front of people or walking in a crowded coffee shop. While I’d never let these feelings show on the surface, I was extremely afraid I’d never overcome them. It is no easy thing to battle such overpowering insecurity on a daily basis. I’m somewhat proud to say its been a long time since I’ve under-valued my own existence so significantly.
So take away the two primary reasons for my blog and what’s left? Porn? Nah, not for me. While I do pepper a few hidden and/or adult posts in randomly, it has never been the focus and I don’t blog for clicks.6 News? Too many other blogs do a far better job of keeping up with world/current events far better than I ever could. There is still the social aspect but sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc do a far better job of encouraging people to interact. Personal blogs tend to be more one-sided, no that that is a bad thing mind you. *g*
Its moments like today that remind me I still have room to grow and evolve as human being. And there is still room yet for me to discover aspects of myself I never knew existed. The whole previously mentioned daddy/boy thing I’m going thru is a grand example of that. If you had asked me even just a few years ago if I could ever see myself in the ‘daddy’ role, I’d have sworn it was impossible as that just isn’t my thing. I’ve discovered there are aspects of the role that appeal to me greatly. And while I’ll never wear the mantle in a constant form, it has been a very enriching and enlightening experience.
I guess the point of my ramble is I’m discovering there is still room left for me to learn about my past as well as my future. I’m fond of saying my blog has served as a form of self-therapy over the years. While I do see a gradual decline in my blog posts, I’ve decided to hold onto it for awhile longer. Clearly, there is still some room left for me to self-analyze.
- A topic in itself, but we’ll save that nut and crack it open on a later day when I’m desperate. [↩]
- Don’t go there! lol [↩]
- It wasn’t until years later a conversation I had with said queen back then gave me strength to face my fears and taught me the true meaning of self-acceptance. [↩]
- Oh yes, it wasn’t pretty! lol [↩]
- While I may not be the stereotype, I don’t shun them either. While often viewed as a detriment, they can also be very beneficial. [↩]
- No matter how you slice it, sex sells. It also drives clicks to blogs something fierce. [↩]